Enjoying The Great Outdoors

A 22-year-old man from Bangor is able to enjoy more of the great outdoors with his family thanks to an Enable grant for a Puma 40 Power Wheelchair.

The Steve Morgan Foundation has awarded a grant of almost £9,000 for the chair, which has been described as a “life-changing piece of equipment” for Iwan and his family.

Iwan suffers from a range of challenging physical conditions, including spastic quadriplegia, severe epilepsy, and is prone to severe respiratory infections that require hospitalisation.

He is wheelchair dependent at all times, requires use of a feeding tube and is nil by mouth, and also suffers from learning disabilities.

But despite all these challenges, Iwan’s family are committed to helping him enjoy a range of experiences, particularly getting out and about.

“Iwan’s parents are very motivated to maximise the opportunities that he experiences, and ensure they have a lovely time together, going for walks, visiting cities and enjoying the great outdoors nearby,” says Lindsey De Bartolo, Enable Funding Officer with the Steve Morgan Foundation.

“Unfortunately, Iwan’s previous wheelchair was very heavy, difficult to manoeuvre and was prone to shaking, causing him to vomit and potentially aspirate, leading on occasion to sepsis.

“Iwan’s mum is very slight and had difficulty controlling his chair on different terrains, which limited her aspirations for Iwan and the experiences they could share.

“The new Puma 40 Power Wheelchair was determined to be the best for Iwan’s posture, scoliosis and respiratory vulnerability.

“It is enabling him to experience all of the Great Outdoors with his family who live in a beautiful part of the world, without subjecting him to the shaking that can make him very ill.”

Iwan’s mum Margaret has spoken of the hugely positive impact the Enable grant has had.

“I have taken Iwan out every day since he received the chair, as we have been getting used to it,” she says.

“I hadn’t realised how I had memorised every detail of the local walks we take, where to avoid, where to cross, where the chair would slide.

“Not having to do this now has made a huge difference to the enjoyment of taking Iwan out, and  I hadn’t appreciated the benefit of a new chair for myself as well.

“Iwan is so happy and comfortable in the new chair. 

“He isn’t being rattled about or shaken now, which caused him to have bad reflux which could have resulted  in him aspirating and having life-threatening sepsis. 

“It will open up a whole different experience for him and we will both be able to explore and enjoy so much more of the countryside and our local area which was impossible before. 

“I am quite humbled that such generosity has enabled Iwan to be able to achieve so much more now.

“Thank you doesn’t seem to cover how grateful we are to have this opportiunity to explore and to travel –  it really is a life changing piece of equipment.”

  • Our Enable funding helps with the purchase of specialist disability equipment for people of all ages in our remit area who are in need of assistance. To apply call 01829 782808 

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